List of World Heritage Sites in Iran

Today, List of World Heritage Sites in Iran is a topic that has captured the attention of people of all ages and interests. Whether it is a cultural phenomenon, a prominent figure, or a historical event, List of World Heritage Sites in Iran has managed to make a significant impact on society. In this article, we will explore everything related to List of World Heritage Sites in Iran in detail, from its origin to its implications today. Over the next few pages, we will dive into a comprehensive analysis that will allow us to better understand the importance of List of World Heritage Sites in Iran in today's world. Get ready to discover surprising and fascinating things about List of World Heritage Sites in Iran.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. Iran accepted the convention on 26 February 1975, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list. As of 2023, twenty-seven sites in Iran are included.

The first three sites in Iran, Meidan Naghshe Jahan, Isfahan, Persepolis and Tchogha Zanbil, were inscribed on the list at the 3rd Session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Cairo and Luxor, Egypt in 1979. They remained the Islamic Republic's only listed properties until 2003, when Takht-e Soleyman was added to the list. The latest addition was the Hyrcanian forests, inscribed in 2019.

In addition to its inscribed sites, Iran also lists more than 50 properties on its tentative list.

World Heritage Sites

The table is sortable by column by clicking on the at the top of the appropriate column; alphanumerically for the site, area, and year columns; by state party for the location column; and by criteria type for the Criteria column. Transborder sites sort at the bottom.
Site; named after the World Heritage Committee's official designation
Location; at city, regional, or provincial level and geocoordinates
Criteria; as defined by the World Heritage Committee
Area; in hectares and acres. If available, the size of the buffer zone has been noted as well. A lack of value implies that no data has been published by UNESCO
Year; during which the site was inscribed to the World Heritage List
Description; brief information about the site, including reasons for qualifying as an endangered site, if applicable
Site Image Location Criteria Area

ha (acre)

Year Description
Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran
West Azerbaijan Province38°58′44″N 45°28′24″E / 38.97889°N 45.47333°E / 38.97889; 45.47333 Cultural:IrnArm


129 (320) 2008 In Iran’s northwest, the Armenian Monastic Ensembles, including St Thaddeus, St Stepanos, and the Chapel of Dzordzor, reflect Armenian Christian architectural brilliance since the 7th century. These monasteries showcase a fusion of Armenian, Byzantine, Orthodox, and Persian cultural exchanges. Located at the southeastern edge of the Armenian cultural sphere, they have played a pivotal role in propagating Armenian culture. Today, they are the region’s well-preserved cultural vestiges and active pilgrimage sites, preserving Armenian religious heritage over many centuries.
Bam and its Cultural Landscape Kerman Province29°07′00″N 58°22′00″E / 29.11667°N 58.36667°E / 29.11667; 58.36667 Cultural:IrnBam


2004 Bam, positioned in a desert on the southern edge of the Iranian plateau, dates back to the Achaemenid era (6th-4th centuries BC). Thriving between the 7th and 11th centuries at the intersection of significant trade routes, Bam was renowned for its silk and cotton. The city’s survival depended on qanāts, ancient underground irrigation systems, with Bam showing some of Iran’s earliest examples. The Arg-e Bam stands out as a well-preserved fortified medieval town, constructed with traditional mud layer techniques (Chineh).
Bisotun Kermanshah Province34°23′18″N 47°26′12″E / 34.38833°N 47.43667°E / 34.38833; 47.43667 Cultural:IrnBis


187 (460) 2006 Bisotun, located on an ancient trade route in Iran, holds artifacts from various historic periods, including the Median and Achaemenid empires. The site’s highlight is a bas-relief and cuneiform of Darius I from 521 BC, depicting his rise to power and sovereignty. This scene is accompanied by inscriptions in three languages narrating Darius’s conquests and the reassertion of the Persian Empire, representing a mingling of artistic and literary traditions. Beyond the Achaemenid era, the location also contains relics from previous and subsequent times, tracing a long lineage of cultural heritage.
Cultural Landscape of Maymand Kerman Province30°10′05″N 55°22′32″E / 30.16806°N 55.37556°E / 30.16806; 55.37556 Cultural:IrnCul


4,954 (12,240) 2015 Maymand, situated in a semi-arid valley of southern Iran, is known for its self-sustaining, semi-nomadic agro-pastoralist community. Residents practice seasonal migration, utilizing mountain pastures and temporary settlements during spring and autumn, while residing in unique cave dwellings during winter. This cultural landscape showcases an ancient system of human transhumance, which is rare in arid environments and reflects a tradition possibly more common in historical times.
Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat Kurdistan Province Cultural:IrnCul


106 (260) 2021 The Hawraman/Uramanat region of Iran, home to the Kurdish Hawrami people since 3000 BCE, encompasses a rugged landscape within the Zagros Mountains. It includes two main valleys with distinctive tiered architecture and agropastoral practices suited to the steep terrain. The persistent presence of the Hawrami is marked by archaeological sites and the dynamic adaptation of their semi-nomadic lifestyle, moving between elevations seasonally. The region’s twelve villages highlight the innovative responses of the Hawrami to the challenges of mountain living, amidst a backdrop of rich biodiversity.
Gonbad-e Qābus Golestan Province37°15′29″N 55°10′08″E / 37.25806°N 55.16889°E / 37.25806; 55.16889 Cultural:IrnGon


1 (2.5) 2012 The tomb of Qābus Ibn Voshmgir, from AD 1006, in northeast Iran, stands as a cultural link between Central Asian nomads and Iranian civilization. This 53-meter-high tower, highlighting Islamic architectural ingenuity, is all that remains of Jorjan, an ancient hub of knowledge lost to Mongol invasions. Its innovative brick design with geometric precision reflects the mathematical and scientific prowess of the Muslim world as of the first millennium AD.
Golestan Palace Tehran35°40′47″N 51°25′13″E / 35.67972°N 51.42028°E / 35.67972; 51.42028 Cultural:IrnGon


5.3 (13) 2013 The Golestan Palace, a stunning architectural gem from the Qajar era, exemplifies the fusion of traditional Persian art and craft with Western influences. As one of Tehran’s oldest building complexes, it became the Qajar dynasty’s center of power after they took the throne in 1779 and declared Tehran the national capital. Encircling a garden with pools and green spaces, the Palace’s distinctive decorations and architectural elements are largely from the 19th century. The Golestan Palace marks the emergence of a novel style that blends classic Persian elements with the architectural methods and technologies of the 18th century.
Lut Desert Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan Provinces

30°12′58″N 58°50′20″E / 30.21611°N 58.83889°E / 30.21611; 58.83889



2,278,012 (5,629,090) 2016 The Lut Desert, also known as Dasht-e-Lut, situated in southeast Iran, is one of the most extreme and dry subtropical areas on Earth, particularly between June and October, when powerful winds cause staggering aeolian erosion. This desert showcases some of the world’s most striking yardangs large wind-sculpted ridges as well as an expanse of rocky plateaus and vast fields of dunes. As a natural property, it stands as a prime example of geological forces continuously shaping the Earth’s surface.
Sassanid Archaeological Landscape in Fars Province (Bishabpur, Firouzabad, Sarvestan) Fars Province

29°46′39″N 51°34′14″E / 29.77750°N 51.57056°E / 29.77750; 51.57056



639.3 (1,580) 2018 In the southeast of Fars Province, Iran, eight archaeological sites are clustered across three zones: Firuzabad, Bishapur, and Sarvestan. These areas exhibit an array of well-preserved urban designs, fortified buildings, and palaces that trace back to both the dawn and decline of the Sassanian Empire, which lasted from 224 to 658 CE. Among these remarkable sites are those founded by Ardashir Papakan, the empire’s initiator, including his capital and various constructions by his heir, Shapur I. These sites are a testament to the adept integration of the empire’s architecture with the existing landscape and showcase the enduring legacies of Achaemenid and Parthian traditions, as well as the significant influence of Roman art, which went on to profoundly shape the architectural designs of the subsequent Islamic era.
Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan Isfahan, Isfahan Province

32°40′11″N 51°41′07″E / 32.66972°N 51.68528°E / 32.66972; 51.68528



2.0756 (5.129) 2012 The Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan, an iconic Friday mosque dating back to 841 AD, is a prominent architectural lineage showcase, reflecting twelve centuries of mosque construction in Iran. Being the nation’s most ancient mosque still standing, it serves as an archetype for mosque architecture spreading across Central Asia. The expansive, over 20,000 square meter complex notably first incorporated the Sassanid four-courtyard scheme into Islamic sacred structures. The mosque’s innovative double-shelled ribbed domes have significantly influenced regional architecture. Additionally, this historic edifice boasts an array of ornate details that chart the evolution of Islamic art for over a millennium.
Naqsh-e Jahan Square Isfahan, Isfahan Province

32°39′27″N 51°40′40″E / 32.65750°N 51.67778°E / 32.65750; 51.67778



1979 Established in the 17th century by Shah Abbas I, this site marvelously encapsulates Safavid Persian architecture and urbanism, surrounded by an integrated complex of stately buildings and two-level arcades. Notable structures include the Royal Mosque with its intricate Islamic motifs and the Mosque of Sheykh Lotfollah known for its ornate decoration. The Qaysariyyeh Portico heralds the entrance to the main bazaar, highlighting the site’s economic significance. Additionally, the Timurid palace within the complex sheds light on architectural traditions before the Safavid era. Collectively, these edifices chronicle the zenith of the social and cultural landscape in Safavid Persia.
Pasargadae Fars Province30°11′38″N 53°10′02″E / 30.19389°N 53.16722°E / 30.19389; 53.16722 Cultural:IrnPas


160 (400) 2004 Pasargadae holds the distinction of being the inaugural dynastic capital of the expansive Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great in Pars, the core region from which the Persians originated, during the 6th century BC. It stands as a monumental testament to the early period of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and offers profound insight into Persian civilization. Among the 160-hectare archaeological site’s most significant and preserved features are the Mausoleum of Cyrus II, an archetype of ancient Persian construction, and the Tall-e Takht, which is a fortified platform likely used for royal ceremonies. Additionally, the site houses an imperial ensemble that includes a gatehouse, an audience hall for receiving delegations, a residential palace, and landscaped gardens, elements that confirm the sophistication and grandeur of early Achaemenid design. Pasargadae was the epicenter of the first vast and culturally diverse empire in Western Asia, stretching from the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt all the way to the Hindu River. Its significance also lies in the respect and incorporation of the myriad cultures within its borders, which is eloquently expressed in its architecture—a fusion that mirrors the diversity of its constituent peoples. This ideology of cultural respect and integration marks Pasargadae as not just a historical site, but as a symbol of ancient tolerance and multiculturalism.
Persepolis Fars Province29°56′04″N 52°53′25″E / 29.93444°N 52.89028°E / 29.93444; 52.89028 Cultural:IrnPer


12.5 (31) 1979 Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, was conceived by Darius I in 518 B.C. This majestic city was constructed atop a grand terrace that blends human ingenuity with natural topography. The terrace served as the foundation for an elaborate palace complex, where the “king of kings” erected grandiose structures influenced by Mesopotamian design. The site’s monumental ruins which have withstood the passages of time highlight both the empire’s grandeur and the remarkable craftsmanship of its builders. These imposing edifices and detailed reliefs are emblematic of the architectural and cultural might of the Achaemenid Empire, making Persepolis an unparalleled archaeological treasure that continues to intrigue scholars and tourists alike.
Shahr-e Sukhteh Sistan and Baluchestan Province30°35′38″N 61°19′40″E / 30.59389°N 61.32778°E / 30.59389; 61.32778 Cultural:IrnPer


275 (680) 2014 Shahr-i Sokhta, aptly named ‘Burnt City’, stands at the crossroads of ancient Bronze Age trade routes on the Iranian plateau, bearing witness to the dawn of complex societies in eastern Iran. Established circa 3200 BC, it was inhabited over four principal periods extending to 1800 BC. Within its confines, the city evolved to host an array of specialized zones including monumental structures, residential neighborhoods, burial sites, and industrial areas. The migration of water resources and shifts in climate precipitated the city’s decline, leading to its desertion in the early second millennium BC. Today, the remaining mudbrick architecture, the extensive necropolis, and the surplus of significant artefacts that have been discovered offer a deep well of knowledge. The arid desert air has preserved these finds in an exceptional state, providing a treasure trove of data about early societal structures as well as the intercommunicating civilizations of the third millennium BC.
Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil Ardabil Province38°14′55″N 48°17′29″E / 38.24861°N 48.29139°E / 38.24861; 48.29139 Cultural:IrnShe


2 (4.9) 2010 This spiritual retreat, established between the early 16th and late 18th centuries, embodies the Sufi tradition and showcases the utilization of traditional Iranian architecture to optimize space for a multi-functional complex. The retreat includes a diverse range of components such as a library, mosque, school, mausolea, cistern, hospital, kitchens, bakery, and administrative offices. Significantly, the path leading to the shrine of the Sheikh is segmented into seven parts, reflecting the seven stages of Sufi spiritual journey, and is punctuated by eight gates representing the eight Sufi attitudes. The entire complex boasts well-maintained facades and interiors that are ornately decorated, housing a remarkable collection of historic artefacts. As a whole, the site offers a unique and intact glimpse into the elements of medieval Islamic architecture, specifically tailored to the spiritual and practical needs of a Sufi sanctuary. The harmonious integration of various facilities within the retreat illustrates the Sufi principle of unity and serves as a physical manifestation of the Sufi spiritual path within architectural forms.
Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System Khuzestan Province32°01′07″N 48°50′09″E / 32.01861°N 48.83583°E / 32.01861; 48.83583 Cultural:IrnShu


240 (590) 2009 Shushtar’s Historical Hydraulic System is a universally-acclaimed masterpiece of ingenuity, with origins stretching back to the reign of Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C. This complex infrastructure comprises the creation of diversion canals from the Kârun River, notably the Gargar canal, which persists to this day, delivering water to Shushtar through a network of tunnels that energize watermills. These ancient waterworks create a dramatic cascade over cliffs, flowing into a collecting basin and then onto the southward plain, enriching the land to sustain orchards and farming across approximately 40,000 hectares, an area also referred to as Mianâb or “Paradise”. The system encompasses a series of archaeological wonders, like the Salâsel Castel, which served as the control center for the hydraulics, a tower for monitoring water levels, various dams, bridges, basins, and mills. The Historical Hydraulic System is a testament to the advanced engineering skills of the Elamites, the Mesopotamians, Nabatean hydraulic expertise, and the architectural influences from the Roman era, signifying a confluence of different cultures in the evolution of one of the most sophisticated water management systems of the ancient world.
Soltaniyeh Zanjan Province36°26′07″N 48°47′48″E / 36.43528°N 48.79667°E / 36.43528; 48.79667 Cultural:IrnSha


790 (2,000) 2005 The mausoleum of Oljaytu, erected from 1302 to 1312 in Soltaniyeh, the then capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty established by the Mongols, stands in the Zanjan province of Iran. Renowned for epitomizing the epitome of Persian architecture and significantly contributing to the evolution of Islamic architecture, the structure’s octagonal design is topped by a striking 50-meter-high dome adorned with turquoise-blue faience and encircled by eight svelte minarets. It represents the earliest known example of a double-shelled dome in Iran. The interior decorations of the mausoleum are exceptional, leading experts like A.U. Pope to see it as a precursor to the architectural magnificence of the Taj Mahal.
Susa Khuzestan Province32°11′22″N 48°15′22″E / 32.18944°N 48.25611°E / 32.18944; 48.25611 Cultural:IrnSus


350 (860) 2015 In the southwest of Iran, within the lower Zagros Mountains, lies a site featuring a cluster of archaeological mounds alongside the Shavur River, and across the river is Ardeshir’s palace. Susa, the area in question, reveals a chronological stack of urban settlements stretching back from the late 5th millennium BCE to the 13th century CE. This site stands out as a bearer of witness to the now mostly vanished cultural traditions of the Elamites, Persians, and Parthians, exhibiting a diverse range of administrative, residential, and palatial ruins that testify to these civilizations’ complex histories.
Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex East Azerbaijan Province38°04′53″N 46°17′35″E / 38.08139°N 46.29306°E / 38.08139; 46.29306 Cultural:IrnTab


29 (72) 2010 The historic bazaar complex of Tabriz, a hub of cultural exchange since ancient times, stands as a prime commercial center from the times of the Silk Road. Comprising interconnected, covered brick structures for various uses, the bazaar flourished as early as the 13th century. At that time, Tabriz, located in Eastern Azerbaijan province, rose to prominence as the capital of the Safavid empire. Though it lost its capital status in the 16th century, Tabriz retained its significance as a mercantile nexus until the late 18th century, despite Ottoman expansion. Today, the bazaar is one of the most comprehensive living examples of Iran’s traditional market and cultural milieu.
Takht-e Soleyman West Azerbaijan Province36°36′14″N 47°14′06″E / 36.60389°N 47.23500°E / 36.60389; 47.23500 Cultural:IrnTak


10 (25) 2003 The Takht-e Soleyman archaeological site in northwest Iran is located in a valley amidst a volcanic mountain region. This significant historical site features a principal Zoroastrian sanctuary reconstructed during the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period in the 13th century, alongside a Sasanian era (6th and 7th centuries) temple dedicated to the deity Anahita. This site is not only a testament to ancient spirituality but also has had a profound impact on the evolution of Islamic architectural design through the layout and structures of the fire temple and palace.
Tchogha Zanbil Khuzestan Province32°05′00″N 48°32′00″E / 32.08333°N 48.53333°E / 32.08333; 48.53333 Cultural:IrnTch


1979 Tchogha Zanbil, the sacred city of the ancient Elamite Kingdom, is enveloped by three massive concentric walls. Established around 1250 B.C., it was never completed due to an invasion by Ashurbanipal, demonstrated by many abandoned bricks at the site.
The Persian Garden Many Provinces (Fars, Kerman, Razavi Khorasan, Yazd, Mazandaran, and Isfahan Provinces) Cultural:IrnThePerGar


716 (1,770) 2011 The property encompasses nine gardens across various provinces, showcasing the diversity of Persian garden designs rooted in principles dating back to the 6th century BC during the time of Cyrus the Great. Consistently divided into four sectors, these gardens use water for irrigation and ornamentation, symbolizing Eden and the Zoroastrian elements of sky, earth, water, and plants. Dating back to different periods, these gardens include buildings, pavilions, walls, and advanced irrigation systems. Their influence extends to the art of garden design in regions as distant as India and Spain.
Trans-Iranian Railway Mazandaran, Tehran and Khuzestan Provinces Cultural:IrnTab


5,784 (14,290) 2021 The Trans-Iranian Railway, spanning 1,394 kilometers, links the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf, traversing diverse terrains, including mountains, rivers, highlands, forests, and plains, across four climatic zones. Built from 1927 to 1938 through collaboration between the Iranian government and 43 international contractors, the railway stands out for its engineering feats. Overcoming steep routes, it involved extensive mountain cutting, the construction of 174 large bridges, 186 small bridges, and 224 tunnels, including 11 spiral tunnels. Notably, the project was funded through national taxes to maintain independence from foreign investment and control.
Persian Qanat Razavi Khorasan, South Khorasan, Yazd, Kerman, Markazi and Isfahan Provinces

34°17′24″N 58°39′16″E / 34.29000°N 58.65444°E / 34.29000; 58.65444



2016 Iran's arid regions rely on the ancient qanat system, tapping alluvial aquifers at valley heads and directing water through gravity-fed underground tunnels for agricultural and settlement support. Eleven representative qanats, featuring rest areas, water reservoirs, and watermills, highlight a communal management system ensuring fair and sustainable water sharing. This system stands as a remarkable testament to cultural traditions and civilizations adapting to arid desert climates.
Historic City of Yazd Yazd, Yazd Province

31°53′50″N 54°22′4″E / 31.89722°N 54.36778°E / 31.89722; 54.36778



195.67 (483.5) 2017 Yazd, centrally located on the Iranian plateau, exemplifies desert survival with its Qanat water supply system. Preserving ancient earthen architecture, the city retains traditional districts, markets, religious sites, and the historic Dolat-abad garden.
Hyrcanian Forests Golestan, Mazandaran and Gilan Provinces

37°25′17.3″N 55°43′27.4″E / 37.421472°N 55.724278°E / 37.421472; 55.724278



129,484.74 (319,963.8) 2019 Hyrcanian forest covered some parts of Three provinces of Iran including: Golestan Province: The entirety of the southern and southwestern areas as well as parts of the eastern regions of the Gorgan plain is covered with Hyrcanian forest, totaling an area.
The Persian Caravanserai 54 Location in Iran Cultural:


27.77 2023 Caravanserais were roadside inns, providing shelter, food and water for caravans, pilgrims and other travellers. The routes and the locations of the caravanserais were determined by the presence of water, geographical conditions and security concerns. The fifty-six caravanserais of the property are only a small percentage of the numerous caravanserais built along the ancient roads of Iran.

Tentative list

Iran (Persia) is a rich country in Culture, History and Natural heritage, home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, and known as Four Seasons Country.

In addition to sites inscribed on the World Heritage list, member states can maintain a list of tentative sites that they may consider for nomination. Nominations for the World Heritage list are only accepted if the site was previously listed on the tentative list. As of May 2020, Iran has 56 properties on UNESCO's tentative list.

Name Image Location Category



Date Description
Ali-Sadr Cave Hamadan Province Natural



09/08/2007 Ali Sadr Cave, famous for its vast water halls and an extraordinary array of speleothems like stalactites and stalagmites, along with various karst formations, boasts the largest water cave accessible by boat at about 2400 meters. This natural wonder is under a sustainable management system ensuring its conservation and use for future generations.
Arasbaran Protected Area Azerbaijan Province Natural



09/08/2007 The Arasbaran Protected Area in Iran spans 78,560 hectares with a 134 km perimeter. Its elevation ranges from approximately 256 m to 2896 m, creating a diverse habitat with a rich biodiversity encompassing around 1,000 plant and animal taxa. Significant for its rare species, including Lyurus mlokosiewiczi, the area was designated a conservation zone in 1971 and recognized by UNESCO as a wildlife refuge since 1976, becoming Iran’s 9th Biosphere Reserve.
Asbaads (Windmill) of Iran.Nashtifan Khurasan-e Razavi, Sistan and Balochestan Cultural



02/02/2017 Strong Shamal winds persist year-round in eastern Iran, with exceptional “120 days winds” affecting areas like Sistan and Baluchistan, Southern Khorasan, and parts of Razavi Provinces, reaching speeds up to 100 km/hour. Utilizing this relentless wind and addressing the scarcity of water, the locals invented windmills called “Asbad” to harness wind energy for grinding grains. These windmills, significant to Iranian desert architecture, are strategically built on high elevations to efficiently capture wind without obstruction. Concentrated in regions with persistent winds, they not only grind grains but also act as barriers against storms for nearby settlements. Historically, the use of wind for mechanical energy dates back 3000 years in Iran and China, with the Iranian vertical-axis windmills spreading across the Islamic world and eventually influencing European windmill design.
Bastam and Kharghan Cultural



09/08/2007 The assemblage includes Sheikh Bayazid Bastami’s complex, the Chief Mosque, Kashaneh’s towered dome, and part of the old city wall. Centered around the grave of Sheikh Bayazid Bastami, a renowned Sufi, the complex has attracted significant constructions since the 19th century. The oldest structures within the complex date to the 8th and 9th centuries AD.
Bazaar of Qaisariye in Laar Laar, Fars Province Cultural



09/08/2007 Laar exemplifies urban planning from the pre-Safavid era, with its design showcasing resilience and adaptation after a major earthquake. The continuity and development of the Bazaar of Qaisariye, alongside the construction of a square featuring a polo gate and encircling porticos, illustrate a distinctive urban complex emerging from the reconstruction efforts post-disaster.
Cultural Landscape of Alamutt Village of Alamout,





09/08/2007 Hassan Sabah’s castle, located in northeastern Gazor Khan Village near Mo’alem Kalayeh in Roudbar of Alamout, is a historical fortress perched atop a 220-meter cliff, sitting 2163 meters above sea level on the southwestern slopes of the Houdkan Mountain range, part of the larger Alborz Mountains. The remaining structures, including walls, towers, and observation posts, are constructed from stone bonded with gypsum. Covering an area of ten thousand square meters, the castle’s buildings are strategically distributed across the different elevations of the rugged terrain, making efficient use of the steep and challenging topography. The 7th-century historian Ata Malak Joveyni likened the cliff’s profile to a sleeping camel, while explorer Freya Stark described its summit as resembling the prow of a ship pointing northwest.
Damavand Mazandaran Province Natural



05/02/2008 Mount Damavand, standing at approximately 5,628 meters above sea level, is Iran’s tallest peak and an inactive volcano that saw activity during the Quaternary period. This iconic mountain is known for its numerous thermal springs, like Ask and Larijan, and for being perpetually snow-capped throughout the year. The region boasts a rich biodiversity, encompassing around 2,000 plant species, including a variety of endemic species that are of great significance to the global flora.
Firuzabad Ensemble Firuzabad, Fars Cultural


22/05/1997 The Firuzabad ensemble, within a 12 km zone, encapsulates the rich history of the Sassanian period through pivotal structures such as the circular City of Gur, the nearby Palace of Ardashir by the Tangab river, and the strategically placed Qal’eh Dokhtar fortress. It also hosts significant art in the form of bas reliefs depicting the era’s notable events and the Pahlavi inscription of Mehr-Nerse. These elements collectively highlight the empire’s advanced urban planning and architectural sophistication.
Ghaznavi- Seljukian Axis in Khorasan Khorasan Province Cultural



09/08/2007 Numerous caravanserais along the Silk Route, dating back to the Seljuk period, such as Robat-Sharaf and Robat-Mahi, along with historical complexes like Sang-bast and constructions like the Baba Loghman Building, underscore the importance of this trade artery in both the Great Khorasan of yesteryears and the contemporary Khorasan region.
Hamoun Lake Sistan and Baluchistan Province Natural



05/02/2008 This eastern desert lake is divided into three zones: Hamoun-Hirmand to the south and southwest, Hamoun-e-Sabereen to the northwest, and Hamoun-e-Pouzak to the northeast of the Sistan Plain. During high-precipitation seasons, the lake spans approximately 5,700 km², with 3,800 km² lying within Iranian borders and the remainder in Afghanistan.
Harra Protected Area Hormozgan Province Natural



05/02/2008 The Khuran Strait reserve lies between Qeshm Island and southern Iran, featuring the Mehran delta with its extensive intetidal flats and the region’s largest stand of Harra mangroves (Avicennia marina). Hosting a subtropical climate with very hot summers and sparse rainfall, it’s crucial for various water birds’ life cycles. Protectively marked in 1972 and recognized as a Ramsar Site and biosphere reserve by 1976, the area spans over 82,360 hectares of mangroves and mudflats.
Ecbatana Hamadan Province Cultural



05/02/2008 An ancient city that served as the capital of the Medes since the 7th century BCE and later as a summer capital for Persian and Parthian empires. This historical site is characterized by its distinctive circular design. Archaeological excavations have revealed relics, including gold and silver plates, indicative of the city's wealth and significance. Ecbatana is mentioned in classical historical texts and was renowned for its opulence, with buildings decorated with gold and silver. Over the centuries, it has been a center for various dynasties.
Historic ensemble of Qasr-e Shirin Qasr-e Shrin, Kermanshah Province Cultural


22/05/1997 A significant archaeological and historical site that dates back to the Sassanian era and earlier. The site includes ruins of palaces, temples, and other structures, reflecting the area's importance as a cultural and political center over the centuries. Qasr-e Shirin is particularly noted for its historical significance in relation to the legendary love story of Khosrow and Shirin, which has been a subject of Persian literature and art.
Temple of Anahita of Kangavar Kangavar, Kermanshah Province Cultural



09/08/2007 An ancient site dedicated to the Persian water goddess, Anahita. The temple complex is characterized by its grandiose terraces, monumental stairways, and remnants of stone columns, suggesting a blend of Greek and Persian architectural influences.
Imam Reza Shrine Mashhad, Khurasan-e Razavi Province Cultural



02/02/2017 This complex is dedicated to Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam, and attracts millions of pilgrims annually from around the world. The shrine encompasses a vast area featuring a mosque, a mausoleum, a library, and several other religious and educational buildings. Its architecture is notable for its intricate tile work, domes, and minarets, which display the richness of Islamic art and architecture. Over the centuries, the complex has been expanded and beautified by various rulers.
Industrial Heritage of textile in the central Plateau of Iran Isfahan, Yazd and Kerman Provinces Cultural



02/02/2017 The area's historical narrative is marked by the presence of various mills and workshops, where artisans and workers employed a blend of age-old practices and emerging industrial technologies to produce textiles renowned for their quality and distinctive designs. This site underscores the region's role in not only advancing textile production but also in shaping the social and economic landscape.
Jiroft Kerman Province Cultural



09/08/2007 Known for its collection of artifacts, including intricately designed chlorite vessels, Jiroft has emerged as a key site for understanding early urban development and trade networks in the region. The discovery of these artifacts suggests that the area was a major center for craftsmanship and commerce, possibly linked to ancient Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. The site's extensive ruins and artifacts offer invaluable insights into the cultural and economic complexities of an ancient society in Iran.
Blue Mosque, Tabriz Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province Cultural



09/08/2007 A historic mosque renowned for its exquisite blue tilework, which gives the mosque its name. Constructed in 1465 under the order of Jahan Shah, the ruler of the Kara Koyunlu dynasty, the mosque was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1779 but has since undergone restoration efforts to preserve its architectural beauty. The mosque's design features a blend of Islamic and Persian architectural elements, with intricate calligraphy and patterns adorning its interior and exterior. Despite the 1779 earthquake damage, the Blue Mosque remains a symbol of the rich cultural and religious history of Tabriz.
Kerman Historical-Cultural Structure Kerman Province Cultural



05/02/2008 This structure encompasses a variety of significant buildings, including mosques, bazaars, caravanserais, and bathhouses, each reflecting the diverse historical periods of the region from the Islamic era to modern times. The city's layout, characterized by its traditional bazaars, narrow alleys, and public squares, exemplifies classical Persian urban planning. Kerman's historical core is notable for its intricate tile work, mud-brick construction, and decorative elements that embody the aesthetic and technological advancements of its time.
Khabr National Park and Ruchun Wildlife Refuge Kerman Province Natural



09/08/2007 This protected area is characterized by its mountain landscapes, rivers, and vegetation, providing critical habitat for endangered species and a wide range of wildlife, including Persian leopards, Asiatic black bears, and various bird species. The park and refuge are also important for their ecological functions, such as watershed protection and climate regulation.
Khorramabad Valley Khorramabad, Luristan Province Cultural



09/08/2007 Khorramabad, the provincial capital located within the valley, is home to numerous archaeological sites and ancient relics, including the Falak-ol-Aflak Castle, which dates back to the Sassanian era. The valley's cultural heritage is complemented by its diverse ecosystems, supporting a variety of plant and animal life. The Khorramabad Valley serves as a crucial area for the study of Iran's ancient civilizations as well as its natural history.
Mount Khajeh Zabol, Sistan and Baluchistan Province Cultural



09/08/2007 A flat-topped black basalt hill that rises from the surrounding Hamoun Lake. This site is notable for its archaeological significance, hosting the ruins of an ancient citadel and several pre-Islamic and Islamic historical structures, including Zoroastrian fire temples and a Sasanian-era palace. The unique geographical feature serves as a natural fortress and has been a significant cultural and religious center over the centuries.
Naqsh-e Rostam and Naqsh-e Rajab Marvdasht, Fars Province Cultural


22/05/1997 Naqsh-e Rostam is an ancient necropolis, housing the rock-cut tombs of four Achaemenid kings, including Darius the Great, and features impressive bas-reliefs from both the Achaemenid and Sassanian periods that depict royal victories and ceremonies. These sites provide critical insights into the ceremonial and funerary practices of ancient Persian empires, showcasing the artistic achievements and historical significance of the Achaemenid and Sassanian periods. The preservation of these reliefs and tombs offers valuable information on the political and religious ideologies of the time.
Natural-Historical Complex / Cave of Karaftoo Kurdistan Province Mixed 02/02/2017 A natural-historical complex known for its unique geological formations and historical significance. This cave system, consisting of various chambers and passages, has been utilized by humans since ancient times, serving various purposes including habitation, worship, and as a defensive refuge. Notably, the cave contains Greek inscriptions that suggest it was once dedicated to the Greek god Hermes. The complex also features man-made rooms and corridors that indicate its use during different historical periods, including the Islamic era.
Persepolis and other relevant buildings Fars Province Cultural 09/08/2007 An ancient archaeological site, serving as the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great and his successors. The complex includes palaces, halls, and a treasury. Notable structures within the site include the Gate of All Nations include the Apadana Palace, and the Tomb of Artaxerxes III.
Persian Caravanserai Khurasan-e Razavi, Isfahan and Yazd Provinces Cultural 02/02/2017 Roadside inns scattered across Iran served as fortified rest stops for caravans and travelers since the Islamic Golden Age. These structures provided shelter, security, and services for merchants, pilgrims, and travelers, facilitating trade and cultural exchange across the region. Characterized by their robust architecture, caravanserais typically feature a large courtyard surrounded by enclosed spaces for lodging and storage, with a central water source. Their strategic locations along trade routes made them crucial for the economic vitality of the Persian Empire.
Qeshm Island Hormozgan province Natural 09/08/2007 The largest island in the Persian Gulf. The island features a variety of natural attractions, including the Hara Marine Forests, the Valley of Stars with its distinctive rock formations, and the Kharbas Caves, which have historical and archaeological significance. Qeshm is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including migratory birds, sea turtles, and dolphins. The island's economy is primarily based on fishing, boat building, and tourism, with an increasing interest in eco-tourism due to its natural and ecological sites. Qeshm's cultural heritage is reflected in its traditional music, clothing, and crafts, making it a vibrant community with a rich blend of traditions and modernity.
Sabalan Ardabil Province Natural


09/08/2007 A dormant volcanic mountain with the altitude of 4820 m, making it the country's third highest site. The mountain is also known for its hot springs, attracting visitors seeking health benefits. Sabalan has a rich cultural significance, playing a central role in local mythology and being considered a sacred mountain in Persian folklore. Its slopes are used for pastoralism and are home to nomadic tribes during the warmer months. The mountain's diverse ecosystems support a variety of plant and animal life.
Salt Domes of Iran Fars Province, Bushehr, Hormozgan, Qom and Zanjan Natural 02/02/2017 The salt domes are created by the upward movement of salt from deep within the earth, pushing through overlying layers of rock to form impressive structures on the surface. Iran's salt domes are noted for their striking appearance, often displaying vivid colors due to the minerals they contain. They play a significant role in Iran's natural landscape, contributing to the biodiversity of these areas by creating unique ecological niches. Additionally, they are of considerable economic importance, as some domes contain valuable deposits of rock salt, gypsum, and other minerals.
Shush 100 km south of Ahvaz, Khuzestan province Cultural


22/05/1997 An ancient city and one of the oldest known settlements in the world, with archaeological evidence dating back to as early as 4000 BCE. Susa was an important city in various ancient empires, including the Elamite, Persian, and Parthian empires, serving as a political and economic center. The site includes significant historical ruins, such as the palace of Darius the Great, the Apadana, and the Susa acropolis.
Silk Route (Also as Silk Road) Khorasan Province Cultural


05/02/2008 The Silk Route in Iran refers to the sections of the ancient Silk Road that passed through the Iranian plateau, connecting the East and West for centuries. This network of trade routes facilitated the exchange of silk, spices, textiles, and precious goods, as well as ideas, cultures, and technologies between civilizations. Iran's strategic location made it a vital corridor within the Silk Road, with cities such as Nishapur, Rey, and Isfahan becoming bustling centers of commerce and intellectual exchange. The routes contributed to the prosperity of these cities, making them focal points for cultural and economic development.
Tepe Sialk Isfahan Province Cultural 22/05/1997 An archaeological site dating back to the 5th, comprises two main mounds ("tepes"), which have revealed multiple layers of occupation through extensive archaeological excavations. The site is renowned for its contributions to understanding the early development of agricultural societies in the central plateau of Iran. Tepe Sialk has yielded important artifacts, including pottery, tools, and architectural remains, that illustrate the social, economic, and technological advancements of its inhabitants. The discovery of a ziggurat-like structure on the site indicates the existence of religious or administrative activities.
Taq-e Bostan Kermanshah, Kermanshah Province Cultural 09/08/2007 An archaeological site encompassing a range of artifacts, including the ancient Morad-Hassel Tepe, a historic village, a Parthian burial site, and a hunting ground from the Sassanid era. The centerpiece of this complex is the Sassanid section, featuring two porticoes (known as the large and small Ivans) and remarkable bas-reliefs from the same epoch.
The Collection of Historical Bridges Lorestan Province Cultural 05/02/2008
The Complex of Izadkhast Fars Province Cultural 09/08/2007 A fortress, a caravanserai, and a bridge, situated within an ancient cultural landscape. The complex is strategically positioned along ancient trade routes, serving as a vital hub for commerce, military, and communication purposes. The fortress, perched on a natural rock formation, offers insights into defensive architecture, while the caravanserai provided lodging for travelers and traders. The nearby bridge facilitated the movement of goods and people across the region.
The Cultural-Natural Landscape of Ramsar City of Ramsar, Province of Mazandaran Mixed 09/08/2007
The Great Wall of Gorgan Golestan Province Cultural 02/02/2017 Constructed during the Sassanian Empire in the 5th or 6th century AD, this defensive barrier stretches approximately 195 kilometers, making it one of the longest fortification systems of ancient times. The wall was built to protect the empire’s northeastern borders against nomadic invasions and is accompanied by a series of forts, watchtowers, and water reservoirs, showcasing advanced engineering and military architecture of the period. The wall's construction utilized fired bricks, a testament to the technological capabilities of the Sassanians.
The Historical City of Masuleh City of Masouleh, Gilan Province Cultural 09/08/2007 Founded in the 1006 AD, Masuleh's layout is adapted to the steep slopes of the Alborz mountains, featuring houses built in a stair-step configuration. This unique design ensures that the roofs of houses on one level serve as the courtyards for houses on the level above, maximizing space and complementing the natural terrain. The city's buildings, made from local materials like mud-brick, wood, and stone, blend seamlessly into the landscape, reflecting a harmonious relationship between human habitation and nature. Today Masuleh has maintained its traditional social and economic structures, making it a living example of rural life in Iran.
The Historical City of Maybod Maybod, Yazd Province Cultural 09/08/2007 An ancient city showcasing a rich tapestry of cultural, architectural, and urban developments. The city's urban fabric includes structures such as the Narin Castle, one of the oldest and largest mud-brick fortresses in Iran.
The Historical Port of Siraf Province of Bushehr Cultural


09/08/2007 Siraf was a point in the maritime Silk Road, facilitating trade between the Middle East, India, and the Far East.Archaeological excavations have unearthed remnants of the city's grandeur, including residential areas, mosques, and bazaars, alongside evidence of its extensive trade networks, such as imported ceramics and goods from distant lands. The port's architecture and urban planning reflect a prosperous society adept in maritime trade and capable of adapting to the coastal desert environment. The decline of Siraf in the 12th century, likely due to geological and economic factors, marked the end of its era as a trading powerhouse.
The Historical Texture of Damghan Semnan Province Cultural


09/08/2007 Dates back to the pre-Islamic era as one of Iran's oldest cities. Damghan has played a significant role in various periods, notably during the Parthian and Sassanian empires, and later under Islamic rule. The city's historical fabric comprises an array of ancient structures, including the Tarikhaneh Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Iran, featuring elements from a Sassanian fire temple, and the ancient city walls that hint at Damghan's historical importance as a fortified city.
The Historical Village of Abyaneh Village of Abyaneh, Isfahan Province Cultural


09/08/2007 Known for its distinctive red mud-brick houses that blend seamlessly with the rugged mountainous landscape. Abyaneh is also notable for its labyrinthine streets, multi-leveled houses, and significant historical structures, including Zoroastrian fire temples and Islamic mosques that exhibit unique architectural features.
Agha Bozorg Mosque Isfahan Province, Kashan Cultural


09/08/2007 A mosque and madrasa. The structure features a unique architectural layout with a long, rectangular footprint and a sunken courtyard surrounded by multiple levels, including a ground level and a balcony. The entrance, marked by an arched, domed portal, leads to a domed vestibule and then to the courtyard, flanked by dormitories, a mosque with a domed pavilion and hypostyle prayer hall, and a subterranean area with wind catchers. Notable features include the central octagonal chamber with a large dome, an ambulatory, two minarets, and multiple open courts, integrating functional spaces for education and worship within an architecturally rich and complex design.
The Natural-Historical Landscape of Izeh Khuzestan Province Natural


05/02/2008 These areas are notable for their ancient rock paintings that uniquely depict figures in a sequential manner, creating a form of background perspective. Remarkably, this site is recognized for featuring the earliest instances of women and men being depicted together in Iranian art.
The Persian House in Central plateau of Iran Isfahan and Yazd Provinces Cultural


02/02/2017 A residential architecture adapted to the arid climate and cultural context of the region. Characterized by distinctive features such as high walls, central courtyards, wind towers (badgirs), and ornate doors, these houses are designed to maximize natural cooling and ventilation, providing comfortable living conditions in the hot, dry climate. The central courtyard serves as a communal area for family activities, often containing a garden, which brings nature into the home and helps to cool the air. Wind towers, an ingenious element of these homes, capture cooler breezes and direct them into living spaces.
The Zandiyeh Ensemble of Fars Province Shiraz, Fars Province Cultural



05/02/2008 The Ensemble of Karim Khani Buildings stands as the cornerstone of old Shiraz, spanning from the Zandiyeh era to the present day. Its construction across various periods reflects a fusion of urban elements from each era, rendering it of significant historical importance. Consequently, it emerges as a comprehensive exemplar of contemporary Iranian architecture, encapsulating the evolution of architectural styles over time.
Touran Biosphere Reserve Semnan Province Natural



05/02/2008 A protected area recognized for its unique biodiversity and desert ecosystem. Spanning an area of approximately 1.5 million hectares, it represents one of the largest reserves in Iran. The reserve is characterized by its arid and semi-arid landscapes, offering a habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna adapted to extreme environmental conditions. It provides a sanctuary for the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah, as well as other species such as Persian onagers, gazelles, and the Persian leopard.
Tus Cultural Landscape Tous, Khorasan Province Cultural



02/02/2017 The landscape encompasses the remnants of the ancient city of Tus along with its significant historical, literary, and religious sites. Among these, the most notable is the mausoleum of Ferdowsi, the revered Persian poet who authored the Shahnameh, an epic poem foundational to Persian culture and identity.
University of Tehran Tehran Province Cultural



Zozan Province of Khorasan Cultural



09/08/2007 Situated 41 kilometers from the ancient city of Khargard, featuring a rectangular layout. On its southern edge, an age-old castle stands prominently, while to the west, the main mosque, dating back to the Khwarazmian era and designed with a dual-balcony structure, marks its presence. The city's distance from modern urban developments has allowed it to preserve its originality and structural integrity exceptionally well. Notable structures in Zozan, such as the Chief Mosque, bear similarities to early Islamic architecture, including the Gonbad Mosque in Bactria or the dual-balconied mosques in Khorasan, alongside other elements like qanats, which can be paralleled with the qanat system in Bam.

See also


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